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Dead White Fir - Baker Creek Campground

Great Basin National Park

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ADDED: Aug 5, 2005 04:20VIEWS: 4,060
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Dead Twisted Juniper - Ute CanyonDead Wood >
Dead White Fir - Baker Creek Campground
There are many more dead and dying trees in the park this year than in past years. One of the main causes is an outbreak of the fir engraver bark beetle (Scolytus ventralis), which attacks white firs. The outbreak is caused by stressed white fir trees, which have suffered from several years of drought. The beetles burrow under the bark and kill a strip of cambium near its gallery to successfully reproduce. The fir engraver beetle infestation may result in a few dead branches, a top kill, or complete tree mortality. Although the dead trees may not be aesthetically pleasing, fir engraver beetles are a natural part of ecosystem processes. They are further evidence of how difficult it is to survive in the harsh Great Basin climate, where water is a limiting factor for most species.


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